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Which is better for weight loss, low-carb diets or low-fat, high-carb diets?
Monday, July 12, 2004 11:22 am Email this article
"The totality of the evidence continues to show that low-carbohydrate diets are marginally disadvantageous for long-term health and for weight maintenance," according to a new paper.
“People can lose weight equally well on low-carbohydrate (‘Atkins-style’) diets, and some groups of obese patients tend to lose a little more than on high-carbohydrate groups. This small difference [in weight loss of 2-4 pounds] may be explained by rapid loss of… water,” they conclude.
What? Are they kidding?
This paper completely ignores what I would consider to be overwhelming evidence that has appeared in the last couple of years showing that low-carbohydrate diets are more effective than low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets.
The statement that people on low-carohydrate diets only lose 2-4 pounds more than those on low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets is an old idea based on short-term studies.
You only have to go back to 1997 to find that four organizations put out a pamphlet titled “Questioning 40/30/30” which attempted to debunk high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet books such as “The Zone”, “Protein Power”, “Healthy for Life”, and “The Atkins Diet” (Kern, 1997).
The four organizations were The American Dietetic Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, Women’s Sports Foundation, and the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research.
But it should be pointed out that the advantage of low-carbohydrate diets is mostly that they cause a spontaneous reduction in calorie intake. People on low-carb diets don’t have to count calories, they just automatically eat fewer calories without thinking about it.
Click here for a list of articles about high-protein/low-carbohydrate diets.
Lean M, Lara J. Is atkins dead (again)? Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2004 Apr, 14(2):61-65.
Kerr K. Fen-Phen Reports Unheeded / FDA didn’t see link. Newsday, 1997 Dec 22.
Articles on the same subject can be found here:
On Jul 13, 2004 at 3:42 pm robert skversky m.d. wrote:
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I thought the real advantages of low carb diets related to the fact that 1) it's the increase in carbohydrates in this country moreso than fat intake that's responsible for increasing weight. 2)lower carbohydrate intake should have a positive effect on hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance which many obese people have. 3) lower carbs in combination with exercise and glucophage has been shown to delay the onset of type 11 diabetes in those predisposed. dr s
On Jul 13, 2004 at 4:10 pm Larry Hobbs wrote:
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It is my understanding that insulin resistance is the result of being overweight rather than excess carbohydrates, and a relative deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids as described by Artemis Simopolous, MD,.
It is my belief that insulin resistance is the overweight body's way of burning fat.
Artemis Simopoulos said in interview, ?As the ratio of omega-6-to-omega-3 [fatty acids] increases above 4-to-1 insulin resistance increases and the prevalence of diabetes increases? [The problem is that the ratio in the typical American diet is] 20-to-1.
On Jul 14, 2004 at 11:49 am robert skversky m.d. wrote:
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I agree with you. It's the weight loss that improves insulin resistance as oppose to lower carbs per se.
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